Signs show where your money goes

RESIDENTS wondering how their rate increases have been spent only need to follow the signs.

Shellharbour City Council has started posting signs reading "This project is funded by the Special Rate Variation" on its infrastructure renewal works.

The move followed its successful application for a 9.3 per cent average increase across four years.

By the 2016-17 financial year, rates will have increased by about 43 per cent on 2012-13 levels and generated an extra $19.5 million in revenue.

Of 1000 home owners surveyed last year, 41 per cent supported a smaller rate increase due to affordability and 40 per cent did not support a rate increase above the state-wide rate pegging limit.

Questioned why the council would promote the controversial issue on its signage, Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said it allowed the council to follow up on the consultation conducted before the rate rise.

"We did a significant amount of consultation on the process and what it means, and we feel it's a really good way of demonstrating how it's being spent," she said.

With some opponents to the rate rise linking the increases to the City Hub project, Cr Saliba said it was also a way of clearing up confusion.

"It's very clear it can only be used for infrastructure renewal," she said.

A council spokeswoman said $1.5 million in renewal works had already been completed, including asphalt overlays, patching and resurfacing on 18 roads across Shellharbour, Albion Park, Barrack Heights, Lake Illawarra and Warilla.

In addition, bus shelters in Deakin Street at Oak Flats, Shellharbour Road at Blackbutt and Junction Road at Barrack Point will be replaced this year.

Footpaths at Station Road, Albion Park Rail and Reddall Parade, Lake Illawarra, are due for completion by the end of June, while the concept plan for the Reddall Reserve amenities block has been completed.

Partial reconstruction of Albion Park Rail's Yovelton House will start in June and six kilometres of the area's stormwater network will be repaired later in the year.

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